Annoying and Pointless Meowing - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Annoying and Pointless Meowing

Hi everyone,

Our darling Kitty (he of the "escape" and the health problems from previous posts) is back to full health. However, since his vet visit he has developed an annoying and persistent habit.

Meowing at the back door! Whenever we are at home this little orange devil will sit there meowing his head off. He definitely wants to go outside, but of course that is not possible.

This cat is about 12 years old, and has spent the vast majority of his life in an apartment. Now he lives in a lovely spacious house and has had a total of three escapes, none lasting more than 30 minutes.

We live on a main road and for this reason (and many many others) having an inside/outside cat is not an option. So how can I train him out of this terrible and pointless habit? Important facts:

1) Kitty has a very playful companion, but he does not play with her (too old and crotchety)
2) We have a cat tree, heaps of toys and lovely windowsills available. He doesn't really enjoy toys so environmental enrichment is probably not a problem
3) We are at home a lot and he gets plenty of attention
4) We are not in a position to establish a catio yet (it is coming, but not for a couple of years after other renovations)

Any ideas as to how we can train him out of it?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 07:52 AM
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My only suggestion is to get some Fel-I-Way to calm him down. You may need one for each room of the house (they are only effective in small spaces by themselves). Yes, the constant meowing would be annoying. I wonder what the reason is except he got a taste of the great outdoors and loved it?
When we moved from a small house to an apartment on the military base in Sicily our cat Annie would meow and meow to get out. She would sit by the window and cry for her old stomping grounds (she was found as a stray on the base and had a clear view of the main road from her window perch). The crying lasted up to a couple months I think, but she finally adjusted and realized that going out was not going to happen. It didn't stop her from occasionally trying but the constant crying stopped.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 10:51 AM
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I just bought a spray and I'm going to try that for a week and see what it does to Pipin. He gets into this meowing thing too every time he leaves the room. It sounds like he's under total distress. I mean not even a happy playfull meow. I've tried ignoring him and all the usual behavioral traing that the internets tell you.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 09:31 PM
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my 16 year-old cat does the same thing except it isn't to go out, it's for me to pick her up and hold her. i have always paid her a lot of attention but i can't possibly do every single thing while holding her. (i've even considered one of those baby holder things you wear LOL). she has developed a very ugly and persistent meow. i think it's probably because she's old plus has lost most of her sight.

unfortunately, she has adapted her sleep schedule to mine (the other two have as well). they sleep at other times too, but if i'm asleep, they definitely are, so almost all of their awake time is when i'm up.

feliway never helped me a bit for anything (i tried it for a peeing problem and then since i still had it, one would freak out when i brought the old one home from the vet and try to beat her up so i sprayed it and nothing) and it's expensive.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the responses everyone!

I have tried Feliway before with little (apparent) success. However, it is one of those products where you just don't know if it is working or how much worse it could get without it!

I could certainly try it again .

He does shut up when I pick him up, but sooner or later he will decide he has had enough and return to his door/meow routine again. I think my next tactic will be the ignoring one...
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 11:09 PM
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Ignoring may be the only way to get the meowing to stop.

My girls aren't meowers, but Margaux sits by the back door and paws at it constantly when she wants to go out on the deck. I generally ignore her and eventually, she'll get bored and move on.

Does your kitty meow whether or not you're in the room with him? If you're in there with him, I'd ignore him and leave. Sometimes, I can hear Margaux scratching a bit when I'm in another room, but I'm quite certain that she scratches at the door primarily when she knows I can hear her.

The added bonus to leaving the room is that you have the option of going somewhere where you can't hear him meow.
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